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UVA Darden Class of 2020 Essay Analysis

July 11, 2017

2017/18 essay question

Prompt: When preparing for class at Darden, students formulate an opinion on each case before meeting with their learning teams and class sections. When encountering different views and perspectives from their own, opinions frequently shift. Tell us about a time when your opinion evolved through discussions with others. (500 words)

2017/18 essay question analysis

This year’s new question from Darden creates an opportunity for candidates to discuss their biases and weaknesses (don’t worry, we all have them) in a way that showcases how they learn when interacting with others. Keep in mind, the biases and opinions you discuss in this essay can be narrow. For example, if you were working on a global consulting project, and realized through talking with local staff that your initial recommendations wouldn’t work in a particular geography due to some regulatory requirement, that topic would work.

The key to what they are looking for is insight into how you translate interactions and lessons learned from others into action that drives results. That will require detailed explanation of your story, including context of what led you to go down your original path, and a certain amount of humility when explaining how your discussions with others caused you to change course. The example you choose is less important than what you learned from the experience, and how you learned it.

2017/18 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: October 5, 2017 at 12:00pm ET
Round 2: Application deadline: January 9, 2018 at 12:00pm ET
Round 3: Application deadline: April 3, 2018 at 12:00pm ET

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